Buffalo Sabres right winger Patrick Kaleta received a five-game suspension from the NHL for his hit on the New York Rangers' Brad Richards over the weekend, the league announced Monday. Considered a repeat offender by the league, Kaleta will be eligible to return to the ice on March 17 against the Washington Capitals.
On the play, Kaleta shoves Richards from behind a solid distance from the boards, causing the Rangers winger to slide headfirst into the barrier:
As the league explains in the video, Richards' distance from the boards was a core part of the decision to suspend Kaleta. Though the Buffalo winger didn't skate in with great speed, Richards still violently crashed into the boards as a result of the hit, earning Kaleta a violation of the boarding rule.
Over at Die by the Blade, SB Nation's Sabres blog, they took a look at how Kaleta's hit compares to one Dan Girardi committed earlier in the game. Breaking down the two hits helps to explain why the league assessed each hit differently.
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